Re: marking prostate biopsy specimens

Hi Bob:

I currently gross the small specimens for my pathologist and I write the
# of pieces on the side of the cassette.  In my dictation, I tell how
many biopsies, whether they are on or off of filter paper and how long
they are.  ie received in fixative are seen 3 white cylindrical pieces of
tissue on and off of filter paper measuring 0.9 by 0.1 by 0.1 cm,
1.9 by 0.1 by 0.1 cm and the last one measures 1.5 by 0.1 by 0.1 cms. 
Specimen submitted in toto in cassette labeled R.

Terry J. Mattoon HT(ASCP)
VA Med Ctr.  #113
White River Jct.,VT   05001
(802) 296-5193  (direct # to lab secretary)
802-296-6328  -  FAX

On Sat, 21 Oct 2000 22:36:58 -0400 (EDT) writes:
> Several people have commented on marking prostate biopsy specimens 
> for the 
> embedder.
> Speaking as the end user, I don't care what you mark it with, as 
> long as you 
> find all the pieces and tamp them flat in the paraffin!
> I think that mercurochrome, though commonly used, is unacceptable 
> because of 
> its high mercury content (26%). I've seen people get by with 
> ordinary eosin. 
> Green Davidson marking ink looks horrible, but I've used it and it 
> gets the 
> job done, and is probably preferable when the embedder has to work 
> without 
> adequate light or magnification, or has impaired vision (all 
> situations I see 
> commonly in my travels).
> The important thing is for the embedder to find all the pieces, each 
> of which 
> represents a moment of agony for the unfortunate patient. The person 
> doing 
> the grossing should be counting the cores and estimating their total 
> length. 
> ("three strips of white tissue with an aggregate length of about 60 
> mm") It's 
> not commonly done, but if I ran the zoo the person doing the 
> grossing (or 
> their assistant) would write these counts on a log sheet for the 
> embedder.
> Bob Richmond
> Samurai Pathologist
> Knoxville TN

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